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Anne Stickney

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Connected Realms update for April 4

The list of US realms slated for the Realm Connection service has now been updated with new information regarding upcoming dates for the service. However, the schedule looks a little different now. Realm merges that were scheduled for Thursday, April 10 are no longer scheduled for connection -- in fact, there are no scheduled realm connections at this point in time.

The realms listed below are on the list of future realm connections, but do not have a date set.
  • Drenden and Arathor
  • Nagrand and Caelestrasz
  • Blackwater Raiders and Shadow Council

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

The Queue: Games and thrones and questions

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) sends her regards.

You guys Game of Thrones season four starts tomorrow and I am so ridiculously excited about that so have a metal cover of the theme song. Yes. Questions!

wrathofkublahkan asked:

Am I right in thinking that the less focus on cooldowns and procs of spells (and simply fewer spells) will allow for wider and crazier raid design? Eyes off the keyboard and on the encounter.

Obviously we don't know the answer to that just yet, but I'd like to think it's a yes. Right now a lot of the raid game (for me anyway) is keep your eyes locked to your feet and, if you happen to have one, the addon that tracks your cooldowns. As a raider, it often feels like the hardest encounters are the ones that have a million different things happening at once that you have to do on top of keeping track of all of those cooldowns -- and it's not a matter of encounter difficulty so much as it is difficulty in keeping track of too many things at the same time. That ... doesn't really make for a lot of fun factor.

What I'm hoping for is that with this streamlining process, we'll see a lot more variety in raid design that pushes the limits of what the encounter itself can do, not necessarily what the player can keep track of. So it's more of a game about the encounter itself, and less about paying attention to addons. We can hope, anyway! I'm optimistic.

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Filed under: The Queue

Warlords of Draenor: Patch 6.0 patch notes

The patch notes for patch 6.0 have been released! Patch 6.0 is the pre-patch for Warlords of Draenor, featuring many of the changes and adjustments we'll be seeing in preparation for the next expansion's launch. Please note that patch notes can and often will change over time -- these should by no means be considered a finalized version. Highlights from the patch notes include:
  • A new row of talents has been added for level 100, and Draenor Perks from levels 91-99.
  • Racial traits have been rebalanced.
  • All characters now learn a few important Major Glyphs as they level up.
  • Garrisons, garrisons, garrisons!
Read on for the full list of patch notes after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha testing begins

Warlords of Draenor Alpha has officially begun! While at this stage testing is limited, players may feel free to opt-in to future beta testing by going to the Beta Profile Settings on your Battle.net account. Interestingly enough, along with this announcement comes the announcement of a new file format to compress and store game files. The new file format, CASC, replaces the MPQ file formatting Blizzard has been using for the past 20 years.

Keep in mind that this is an alpha announcement -- beta has not officially begun. No beta keys have been emailed out. If you receive an email offering a beta key, ignore it for now -- as more information about the new expansion releases, phishing attempts are like to rise as well. Check out Blizzard's full announcement regarding the Alpha, and keep your eyes peeled -- with a client available, datamining will likely begin soon.

Update: Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas had the following to say about the Alpha:



Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Ask a CDev Round IV answers revealed

It's been quite some time since we've had a new round of Ask a CDev, addressing and answering lore questions from players. But the answers for round IV of the popular feature have been released, including quite a few questions with interesting implications. This time around, the questions were drawn directly from Twitter, and they address a variety of topics. Some highlights include:
  • Oshu'gun? That's what the orcs call the mountain in Nagrand. But the draenei that remember the mountain for the vessel it was still use its original name -- the Genedar.
  • Tyrande and Malfurion officially co-lead the night elves. Tyrande is no longer the sole leader.
  • Sadly, the Shatterspear tribe is no more, although some may have escaped and found shelter within the Horde or other organizations.
  • Just who the heck is Trade Prince Donais? Well ... he isn't Horde, exactly...
  • There is a distinct difference between the vrykul and Kvaldir, and it involves the Curse of Flesh.
Take a look at the thread in its entirety for all of the lore questions and answers. And if you have a lore question that has you stumped, head over to Twitter and shoot it to Senior Historian Sean Copeland at his Twitter account, @Loreology.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

The Queue: Why not Zoidberg?

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) had a Slinky once, but she straightened it.

Adam decided to leave the Queue to me today. Perhaps he will be asking himself the question featured above. Hopefully, in as close to that particular voice as possible! We can only dream.

Chrth asked:

Q4TQ/Comments: So if I'm farming the Fragments of Valanyr, I can start a raid via oq or whatever and make myself Master Looter - Legendary and then I can assign the Fragments to myself and everyone else gets to roll on other loot, right? Or is Legendary not an allowed Master Looter setting?

I briefly checked this out in game, and it appears that the highest threshold for the Master Looter setting is epic quality. So yes, you could set it to epic and assign the shards to yourself, but you'd also have to assign every other piece of epic loot while you were at it. Blue and green items would be normal roll, however.

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Filed under: The Queue

Spirits of Harmony may become BoE after all

Spirits of Harmony, the Mists of Pandaria currency used by many professions both for supplies and for crafting, have been BoP since the expansions launch. The last we'd heard, there were no plans to make the items BoE by the end of expansion, as with Cataclym's Chaos Orbs and Wrath's Frozen Orbs. However, a tweet exchange last week between Professions Designer @hwoome and a player suggests that the resource might not stay BoP after all ... and might even make the switch to a BoE item sooner than we'd thought.


While it's not a confirmation by any means, the tweet came from a game designer, which suggests at the very least that the issue is not off the table for discussion as previously thought. Whether or not we'll see Spirits lose their BoP status is still up in the air, though -- so I wouldn't worry about stockpiling the items for now.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Review of World of Warcraft: Paragons

With all the chatter surrounding Christie Golden's next novel, I have to admit I'd almost forgotten that World of Warcraft: Paragons was set to release today. It's definitely not your usual sort of novel, instead holding a collection of short stories lore fans are likely already familiar with, all tucked into one book for easy referencing -- but it also includes the long-awaited novella Blood of the Highborne, by Micky Neilson. That said, fans looking for new, current lore aren't going to find any in this particular collection.

However, the book contains all of the leader short stories that were released over the course of Cataclysm's run, as well as a few other shorts -- Unbroken, the story of Farseer Nobundo, The War of the Shifting Sands, a piece that was released just before the launch of AQ40, and Road to Damnation, the story of Kel'thuzad, released just before the launch of the original iteration of Naxxramas all the way back in vanilla. It's Blood of the Highborne that really stands out among the collection, not necessarily because it's better than the rest, but because it's brand-new content that fills in a gap that's been missing in lore -- the conception and introduction of the Blood Knights of Silvermoon.

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Filed under: News items, Lore

Know Your Lore: Gul'dan, the soul of evil

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Every villain in the Warcraft universe has a story behind why exactly they're a villain. For some, it was the corruption of the Old Gods that slowly drove them mad. For others, it was the promise of great power by agents of the Burning Legion. But it's rare that we see a villain that is simply a villain without any kind of outside influence. Garrosh Hellscream is one of the better villains in Warcraft solely because he does evil things, but doesn't believe that they are evil -- instead, he believes that they are simply the right thing to do.

But before Garrosh Hellscream was an orc who pretty much represented pure, unmitigated evil in its most concentrated form. He knew the corruption of his entire race was at stake, and he went ahead and traded it for the one thing he craved above all else -- power. Gul'dan may not have come from bloodlines that boasted glory, but he was ridiculously intelligent, cunning, and cruel. To Gul'dan, it wasn't about performing evil deeds. It was about amassing as much power and prestige as he could -- and the rest of the world could burn, for all he cared.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

War Crimes audiobook version confirmed

Some people like the feel of paper in their hands, some like e-readers for ease of storage, and some people really like to listen to the books they love. One of the most frequently asked questions surrounding any Warcraft novel's release is whether or not an audiobook version of the novel will be available to those that like to listen to their reading material. In most cases, that information isn't readily available before the book is published in print and e-reader formats.

However, it appears that War Crimes, the newest novel from Christie Golden, already has an audiobook version of the novel planned -- an entry for the audiobook edition has been found on Amazon. Scott Brick, the voice behind the audiobook renditions of Wolfheart, Dawn of the Aspects, and Shadows of the Horde will be lending his voice to War Crimes as well. Although there is no release date nor price currently listed for the audiobook, those interested can sign up to be notified when the audiobook release is available for purchase.

For more on War Crimes, the tale of Garrosh Hellscream's trial, check out our exclusive interview with author Christie Golden from last year's BlizzCon -- and while you're at it, there are not one but two excerpts from the novel now available for reading.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

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